Mom on the Run

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About three weeks ago I started going back to the gym – a place I used to go religiously until I got pregnant with twins. Yup, I’ve barely stepped foot into my place of worship in, oh, roughly two years.

I’d been meaning to for sure. I bought new running shoes after the babies were born, but I could never seem to get the energy to go to 7-Eleven let along hit a Precor machine for thirty minutes. But recently my sister-in-law, who is a no nonsense gal from New Jersey, pointedly told me it was time to get out my sweatpants for a change and put on some jeans like a normal person.

Well, I tried and the muffin top spilling out over the top of even my biggest jeans wasn’t a pretty sight. It practically had me making a beeline for the Trader Joe’s frozen mac & cheese which may truly be the most fattening food on the planet. I only buy it to feed Sadie but when I cook it, slowly unpeel the plastic top and get a whiff of its cheesiness I feel like an addict that should call her sponsor. I want to take that macaroni and cheese somewhere private and have my way with it. And then of course Sadie takes like three of the teeniest bites as if she’s a hummingbird and not a human, Mattie eats a couple of scoops and it’s all I can do to put the rest in a Tupperware container and get it out of my eye-line.

This is how I found myself finally using my sweatpants for their real purpose – to soak up sweat and not just to attempt to hide flab. My first time back, I was appalled at how my heart was bursting out of my chest after only ten minutes of calorie burning.“Today is the first day of the rest of my ass,” I told myself over and over which I’m pretty positive is an old Buddhist saying.

I’m very spiritual, in case you didn’t know.

That first day I only made it to twenty minutes and threw in a few weights for good measure but by the end of the week I was at thirty minutes on a higher setting and doing regular sets of shoulder, stomach and arm weights. The next week I went back and worked out four days in a row! I assumed the pounds were melting off but I couldn’t confirm this because I go to the most low rent gym ever and their scales have never all been working at the same time since like 1982.

As far as I could tell for the last couple of years there’s only been one working scale in the locker room and that one was broken when I started going back and then recently removed completely. I asked the twelve-year-old behind the counter when it would be back and she said any day now. Apparently someone in the locker room broke the scale on purpose by ripping the wires out of the wall – I’m assuming in a fit of anger – but the gym staff hasn’t found the culprit yet. I can kind of understand but really, these are grown women. I know it’s painful when you step on the scale expecting to drop a pound and find out you’ve gained twelve but no need to take it out on the scale! How about eliminating cookies from your diet and saving yourself a criminal record?

Another weekend came up and again I didn’t work out for a few days due to a little thing called CHILDCARE which seems to trump exercise unless you’re one of those people who enjoy a hike or walk around the neighborhood and call that a workout. I’m not one of those. I see no reason to exert myself unless it’s goal oriented, will end in exactly thirty minutes and will result in sweating off at least a sandwich. A brisk walk won’t cut it.

But on Monday I was back at it full force and was it my imagination or were my jeans almost fitting? I mean, not enough to wear them but enough to see that progress was happening. And then Monday afternoon I had to fly to NY and while there, in the privacy of my hotel room, I spotted a scale. I resisted the urge to stand on it for about ten seconds and then stripped and hopped on.

I am exactly the same weight I was a month ago when I weighed myself at Bed, Bath and Beyond (due to my lack of scale situation). I have not lost one pound. But unlike my old self who would have said “screw this” and called room service for a cheeseburger and fries, I just chalked it up to my body getting adjusted to exercise. And this morning, back in LA, I was back at the gym. Luckily for me, if I’m going to work out, I have the perfect excuse to wear sweats all day.

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